trainS of hoPe: amBuLance trainS in timeS of confLict
BY MIKE PEART • friendS of the nationaL raiLway muSeum Shines a light on an overlooked and topical subject One big ‘I think you’ll find…’ Every so often, a railway book comes along that really makes you wonder why its subject hasn’t been covered before - and if it does a good job of filling the gap, so much the better. Behind its striking cover design echoing the Red Cross flag, this one is a case in point, exploring the subject of ambulance and hospital trains - on which little material has previously been published, but which is particularly topical at this time of First World War centenaries. With the help of a surprising number of photographs - most of pleasingly good quality and reproduced very well - together with plans of coaches, the author has pulled together the history of these trains from their earliest use in mid-19th century conflicts, through the First and Second world wars, to those used by the British Army in post-war Germany. At just 64 pages, it’s fairly short yet quite thorough, although one rather major error has crept in with the description of the American Civil War (1861-65) as the ‘American War of Independence’ (actually 1775-83). Like the series of locomotive histories also published by the Friends, which give visitors an in-depth look at National Collection engines for as little as £10, this book is excellent value at just £6.